SLU’s Kelley receives NFL Scouting Combine invite
Published 3:15 pm Thursday, February 10, 2022
Former Southeastern Louisiana University quarterback Cole Kelley is one of 324 NFL Draft hopefuls that have received invites to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
The annual event will be held March 1-7 at Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts and televised on NFL Network. Kelley is one of 15 quarterbacks invited to the event.
Kelley is the fifth former Southeastern student-athlete to participate in the combine since the program’s return from an 18-year hiatus in 2003. The Lafayette, Louisiana native follows in the footsteps of Kevin Hughes, Robert Alford, Bryan Bennett and Harlan Miller.
Both Alford (2013, Atlanta Falcons, 2nd Round) and Miller (2016, Arizona Cardinals, 6th Round) were drafted, while Bennett (Indianapolis Colts) and Hughes (St. Louis Rams) signed free agent deals.
Kelley improved his stock with an MVP performance at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl last month. The former Lion signal caller completed 12-of-17 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown.
The runner-up for the Walter Payton Award this fall after claiming the FCS version of the Heisman in the spring, Kelley earned consensus All-America, Southland Conference Player of the Year and Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year honors after closing his Lion career with one of the finest statistical campaigns in FCS history. In his third season in Hammond, he threw for 5,124 yards and 44 touchdowns on 406-for-552 passing (73.6 completion percentage), while also rushing for a team-high 491 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Kelley led the FCS in passing yards, total offense, completion percentage and points responsible for, as his 60 total touchdowns (44 passing, 16 rushing) were one off the single-season FCS record set by Willie Totten in 1984. Kelley’s single-season totals for passing yards (2nd), total offense (5,615 yards, 3rd) and passing touchdowns (10th) were all among the best performances in the history of FCS football.
Kelley’s 72.1 career completion percentage (685-for-950) during his time at Southeastern is a new FCS standard (minimum 750 pass attempts). In 33 games for the Lions, Kelley set new program career records with 8,602 passing yards, 9,339 yards of total offense, 70 passing touchdowns, 33 rushing touchdowns and 105 touchdowns responsible for (70 passing, 33 rushing, two receiving).
Kelley was one of two Southland Conference student-athletes to receive an NFL Combine invite, along with Nicholls wide receiver Dai’Jean Dixon. The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28-30 in Las Vegas.
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